Mini derivative contracts debuted the bourses on Tuesday, the first day of calendar 2008, amid a lull post-holiday session. The contracts recorded lean volumes on the day as the market activity remained low after the holiday season.
While Mininifty futures of the National Stock Exchange recorded a turnover Rs 6519.13 crore in the current month series, trades on the MSX futures of the Bombay Stock Exchange totaled Rs 116 crore.
"Investor participation in these contracts is expected to go up in the future. The lot sizes are low and thus retail investors can afford it. Further, there are arbitrage opportunities as well," said Janak Thacker, CEO of Lalkar Securities.
While the Nifty January futures closed on Tuesday at 6156.50 points, the Mininifty contracts ended at 6153.95.
Mini contracts have been introduced by the stock exchanges to attract more retail investors into the stock markets. While the newly launched Mininifty has a lot size of 20 (the minimum quantity you need to take a position on), Nifty contracts have a lot size of 50. Thus, the cost of taking a derivative position on the index has reduced from around Rs 3 lakh to a little over Rs 1 lakh.
Likewise, the derivative contracts on the Sensex, which have a lot size of 25, are now available at a lot size of 5 in MSX contracts.
The year gone by saw various steps in favour of retail investors. While the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India scrapped the 2.5 per cent entry load on mutual fund schemes, if investors directly bought the units, avoiding agents.
Earlier during the year, the market regulator had allowed companies to offer discounts to retail investors during an initial public offering of shares. And the first issue of the kind is expected by Reliance Power, in which the company is likely to issue shares to retail investors at a 5-6 per cent discount, reports suggest.
Oscillating between red and black, the benchmark indices closed a lackluster day almost flat. While the Nifty ended the day at 6144.35 points, up by 0.09 per cent, the Sensex closed at 20,300, up by 0.07 per cent.